June 2013

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on June 2013

Summer is in full swing, and the lab is scattered far and wide. Jenny is in Peru working on her hummingbirds and flowerpiercers. Luke Browne is in Ecuador conducting seed dispersal research in Bilsa Biological Station. Sam Lantz is in Australia working with red-backed fairy-wrens and coordinating our International Research Experience for Students (IRES) project. Erik Enbody has spent time in Australia with Sam learning the ropes and is now in Papua New Guinea working with white-shouldered fairy-wrens. Scott is in Europe advancing his interdisciplinary research. Closer to home, Brock Geary has been working on brown pelicans and other seabirds nesting on Gulf of Mexico barrier islands. Jordan and family have returned from a semester in Brazil, and are gearing up for their first Tropical Biology field course to Ecuador, in August.


This has been a productive few months for the lab. We received a grant from the USFWS ‘Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act’ program for continued work in Ecuador, and a number of smaller research grants and fellowships. We also had two publications come out, one on flamingo aggression in Zoo Biology (headed up by Mitch Hinton and Anne Bendelow, two Tulane undergraduates) and one on red-backed fairy-wren geographic variation in BMC Evolutionary Ecology, headed up by Dan Baldessarre. Presentations were made at the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation meeting in June in Costa Rica and the Wilson Ornithological Society meetings in May, in Williamsburg VA.

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April 2013

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April 2013

A good month for student research! Sam, Luke, and Mitch all presented posters at the annual Tulane SSE Research Day poster session. Luke also received funding from the Explorer’s Club, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane, the Tinker Foundation, and the American Ornithologist’s Union for his upcoming field season in Ecuador. He presented work in collaboration with Kym Ottewell and Jordan Karubian on the genetic and demographic consequences of forest fragmentation in Ecuador forOenocarpus bataua as part of Tulane’s Ecolunch seminar series.

Jenny’s paper ‘Reproductive Biology of the Yungas Manakin (Chiroxiphia boliviana) in Manu National Park, Peru’ was published in Ornitologia Neotropical.

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February 2013

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Scott’s manuscript ‘Hurricane, Habitat Degredation, And Land Loss Effects On Brown Pelican Nesting Colonies’ has been accepted to the Journal of Coastal Research. Furthermore, Scott has submitted the full grant proposal to National Geographic requesting funds to continue our GPS tracking work with Brown Pelicans in Alabama and Louisiana. This work seeks to gain an understanding of pelican foraging behaviors within the context of hypoxia-induced shifts in the distribution of the pelican’s dominant prey, the Gulf Menhaden.

Jordan was appointed to the Kylene and Brad Beers Professorship in Social Entrepreneurship. This appointment recognizes his commitment to blending community engagement with scholarship. Furthermore, Jordan and his family have recently arrived in Brazil, where they will spend several months of this Third Year Leave in the city of Florianopolis.

Finally, we’ll have two new PhD students in the lab this fall. Erik Enbody plans to conduct his dissertation research on the behavioral ecology of the White-shouldered Fairy-wren in Papua New Guinea. And, Brock Geary will focus his research on Gulf of Mexico Waterbirds. Welcome to them both!

Otherwise, we all enjoyed another Mardi Gras!

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January 2013

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 2013

Scott presented the talk ‘Brown Pelican Foraging and Nesting in Relation to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill’ at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference in New Orleans, LA. Furthermore, Scott submitted the manuscript ‘Hurricane, Habitat Degradation, and Land Loss Effects on Brown Pelican Nesting Colonies’ to theJournal of Coastal Research.

On the international front, Sam has recently returned from three weeks collecting red-backed fairy wren data during the wet season in Australia.

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December 2012

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Jordan and Luke visited the Chocó rainforests in Ecuador to field test techniques to radio track palm seeds, and also hold an Environmental Fair in La Y de la Laguna that was attended by > 400 local residents. Jordan also recently received a grant from the LA Board of Regents P-FUND program for work on white-shouldered fairy-wrens in Papau New Guinea. As for Sam, she is soon off for Australia to continue her doctoral research on red-backed fairy-wrens. Finally, congratulations to Jenny for advancing to PhD candidacy! Happy holidays, everyone.

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November 2012

Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on November 2012

Scott T. Walter’s manuscript ‘Brown pelican colony initiation attempts: Translocations and decoys’ was accepted for publication by the journal Waterbirds. Also, his manuscript ‘Hurricane, habitat degradation, and land loss effects on brown pelican nesting colonies’ was submitted to the journal Bird Conservation International. Finally, his grant pre-proposal ‘Effects of hypoxia on brown pelican foraging ecology and demographic processes’ submitted to National Geographic was accepted!

The article in The American Naturalist – ‘Use of Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Diversity Measures to Characterize Seed Dispersal by Animals’ by Douglas Scofield, Peter Smouse, Jordan Karubian, and Victoria Sork is now available online!

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